Abellio ScotRail

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Rèile na h-Alba
Scotrail new logo.svg
Falkirk High - Abellio 170454 arriving from Glasgow.JPG
Franchise(s) ScotRail
1 April 2015 – 31 March 2025
Main Region(s) Scotland
Other Region(s) Cumbria, Northumberland
Stations operated 353
National Rail abbreviation SR
Parent company Abellio
Website www.scotrail.co.uk

Abellio ScotRail, (Scottish Gaelic: Rèile na h-Alba),[1] operating services under the name ScotRail, is the national train operating company of Scotland. A subsidiary of Abellio, it has operated the ScotRail franchise since 1 April 2015.


In November 2013, Transport Scotland announced that Abellio, Arriva, FirstGroup, MTR Corporation and National Express had been shortlisted to bid for the new ScotRail franchise.[2] In October 2014, the franchise was awarded to Abellio.[3][4][5] The franchise will operate for 7 years with a 3-year extension available contingent on performance criteria being met.[6] Abellio began operating the franchise on 1 April 2015 and it opened the Borders Railway on 6 September 2015.[7]

In June 2016, the RMT union announced that train guards would be going on strike several times during the summer months in protest of more driver only trains.[8] Six 24-hour and three 48-hour strikes were held on ScotRail services during June and July 2016. An agreement was reached in September 2016, bringing an end to the dispute, it was agreed that the new Class 385 trains will have the doors controlled by both the driver and guard, with the driver opening the doors and the guard closing them.[9]

On 20 January 2017 the Managing Director of ScotRail and the ScotRail alliance stepped down from his role after 18 months in the company.[10] Within a few days Alex Hynes was named as the new Managing Director.[11]



ScotRail routes highlighted in red

Abellio ScotRail took over all of the services operated by First ScotRail on 1 April 2015, except for the Caledonian Sleeper services, which were transferred to a separate franchise operated by Serco,[12] the franchise agreement requires the introduction of 'Great Scottish Scenic Railway' trains on the West Highland, Far North, Kyle, Borders Railway and Glasgow South Western lines. Steam special services are also promoted by Abellio ScotRail.[13][14]


Abellio ScotRail operates 353 stations in Scotland.[15] Not included are Glasgow Prestwick Airport station, owned and operated by the airport,[16] as well as both Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central, which are managed by Network Rail.[17] Abellio ScotRail operates Lockerbie even though none of its services call there, it also took over management of Dunbar, previously operated by Virgin Trains East Coast, in June 2015.[18]


Abellio ScotRail's fleet is maintained at Edinburgh Haymarket, Glasgow Eastfield, Glasgow Shields Road, Corkerhill Glasgow Yoker, Bathgate and Inverness as well as a newly built EMU stabling depot at Millerhill in Midlothian.

Rolling stock[edit]

Abellio ScotRail operates a diverse fleet of DMUs and EMUs, from Sunday 10 December 2017, Class 380 EMUs were introduced onto services between Glasgow and Edinburgh via Falkirk High (also serving Croy, Polmont, Linlithgow and Haymarket). This was the first step in creating an entirely electric service between the two cities which is now expected to start in October 2018 with Class 385 EMUs, which should have entered service in December 2017, but have been delayed due to a windscreen fault. Abellio ScotRail began operations with the rolling stock below, mainly transferred from First ScotRail:[19][20]

Current fleet[edit]

The current fleet of Scotrail

Class Image Type Top speed Number Cars Routes operated Built
mph km/h
68 Haymarket - DRS 68007 evening commuter service.JPG Diesel Locomotive 100 160 2 N/A Fife Circle Line 2013-14
Mark 2 carriage
Haymarket - Abellio Mk2f 5965.JPG
Passenger Carriage 100 160 12 6 1973-75
156 Super Sprinter Carlisle - ScotRail 156501 Newcastle train.JPG DMU 75 120 48 2 Glasgow South Western Line, West Highland Line, Shotts Line, Maryhill Line, Cumbernauld Line, Tyne Valley line 1987-89
158 Express Sprinter ScotRail 158722 Edinburgh Waverley.jpg 90 145 46 2 Far North Line, Maryhill Line, Kyle of Lochalsh Line, Shotts, North Berwick, Cumbernauld, Fife Circle and Highland Main Lines, Borders Railway (Occasional Saturday Services to Dunbar)

West Highland Line (From 2018)[21]
170 Turbostar 170396 at Inverkeithing, 08 May 2013.JPG 100 161 55 3 Croy Line, Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk Line, Glasgow to Aberdeen Line, Edinburgh to Aberdeen Line, Edinburgh to Dunblane Line, Fife Circle and North Berwick Lines, Edinburgh Crossrail, Highland Main Line, Borders Railway (Saturday Services to Dunbar and a peak time North Berwick Service) 1998-2005
314 314212 at Patterton.jpg EMU 75 121 16 3 Cathcart Circle Lines, Inverclyde Line, Paisley Canal Line. 1979
318 Hyndland - Abellio 318262 Cumbernauld service.JPG 90 145 21 3 North Clyde Line, Argyle Line, Whifflet Line 1986-87
320 320 Saltire.JPG 90 145 22 3 North Clyde Line, Argyle Line, Whifflet Line 1990
320/4 (ex 321/4) ScotRail Class 320 No. 320416 at Partick.jpg 100 161 7 1989–90
334 Juniper 334038 sits at Edinburgh Waverley, 05 April 2013.JPG 90 145 40 3 North Clyde Line, Argyle Line 1999-2002
365 A Class 365 under ScotRail branding.png 100 161 10 4 Glasgow to Edinburgh via Falkirk Line 1994–1995
380 Desiro 380108 at Haymarket.jpg 100 160 22 3 Ayrshire Coast Line, North Berwick Line, Paisley Canal, Glasgow - Edinburgh via Falkirk High, Argyle, Inverclyde and Cathcart Circle Lines and the Monday to Saturday Dunbar service 2009-11
16 4

Future fleet[edit]

Abellio ScotRail has mentioned the following as part of the future rolling stock.

Class Image Type Top speed Number Carriages Into Service Built
mph km/h
153 Super Sprinter Par - GWR 153305+153318 leaving westwards.JPG DMU 75 120 5 1 West Highland Line, Class 153 will be attached to current Class 156.[22] 1987–88
385 385001 at Gourock.jpg EMU 100 161 46 3 These new build trains will operate on the Edinburgh-Glasgow via Falkirk High line.

They are also to be used on the Stirling-Alloa/Dunblane line, south Glasgow suburban routes and the Edinburgh to North Berwick/Dunbar Local services

24 4
43 High Speed Train Sprey Point - GWR 43005 going to Plymouth.JPG Diesel locomotive 125 200 54 N/A 2018 - On longer-distance services between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness. 1975–82
Mark 3 carriage Bristol Temple Meads - GWR Mk3 41146.JPG Passenger carriage 121 4 and 5

Abellio ScotRail were meant to introduce a brand new fleet of 46 three-car and 24 four-car Class 385 electric trains from December 2017, to operate services on the lines being electrified as part of the Edinburgh to Glasgow Improvement Programme. However, due to infrastructure problems, and issues with the trains involving software and windscreen issues, their introduction has been delayed to July 2018; in the meantime Abellio ScotRail will hire 10 Class 365 units from Great Northern to help with ScotRail's carriage shortage. These units are expected to enter service in June 2018.[23]

If Abellio is granted a three-year optional franchise extension, it will order a further 10 three-car Class 385 units.[24][25]

Abellio ScotRail will also introduce 9 4-carriage and 17 5-carriage refurbished former GWR HST by May 2018 on InterCity Express services between Edinburgh, Glasgow, Aberdeen and Inverness.[4][26][27][28][29]

This new rolling stock will result in 10 Class 156, 8 Class 158 and 21 (originally 34) Class 170s returning to their leasing companies when their leases expire in 2018.[30] Transport Scotland negotiated to retain an extra 13 Class 170s to support services through Fife to Aberdeen and the Borders railway.[31] Northern will receive 5 of these 156s, all the 158s and 16 of the 170s.[32]

In June 2018 it was announced that Scotrail will lease 5 Class 153 and reconfigure them to accommodate bikes and other outdoors sports equipment and their users, the Class 153 will be attached to current Scotrail Class 156 travelling between Glasgow, Oban, Fort William and Mallaig initially and may eventually be introduced on Northern lines between Inverness, Kyle of Lochalsh and Wick.[33]


  1. ^ Companies House extract company no SC450732 ScotRail Limited
  2. ^ "Scotrail franchise shortlist named" BBC News 1 November 2013
  3. ^ "Dutch firms wins ScotRail franchise from FirstGroup" BBC News 8 October 2014
  4. ^ a b "Abellio awarded ScotRail franchise" Railway Gazette International 8 October 2014
  5. ^ "Abellio awarded contract to operate Scotland's National Railway, ScotRail" (Press release). Abellio. n.d. 
  6. ^ Tender conditions Transport Scotland[dead link]
  7. ^ Borders railway Transport Scotland
  8. ^ ScotRail workers to stage series of six strikes, RMT says BBC News 14 June 2016
  9. ^ RMT members accept ScotRail deal over guards BBC News 5 October 2016
  10. ^ RAILNEWS. "ScotRail chief Phil Verster in surprise resignation | Railnews | Today's news for Tomorrow's railway". www.railnews.co.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  11. ^ "Alex Hynes named as new ScotRail Alliance managing director". BBC News. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 25 January 2017. 
  12. ^ "Serco wins franchise for Caledonian sleeper train service" BBC News 28 May 2014
  13. ^ ScotRail Franchise Transport Scotland
  14. ^ ScotRail announces second summer of steam on Borders Railway ScotRail 14 June 2016
  15. ^ ORR Passenger Numbers
  16. ^ Station Access Application. Office of Rail Regulation.
  17. ^ Our stations Archived 10 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine.. Network Rail.
  18. ^ ScotRail Franchise Invitation to Tender. Transport Scotland. 23 January 2014.
  19. ^ Facts & Figures Abellio ScotRail
  20. ^ "ScotRail franchise facts & figures" Rail Magazine issue 759 15 October 2014 page 8.
  21. ^ "New trains to serve iconic Harry Potter’ rail route" The Scotsman (Edinburgh) 2 January 2018
  22. ^ Dalton, Alastair (19 June 2018). "Cycle coaches to be hitched to trains to ease bike crush". The Scotsman. Retrieved 6 July 2018. 
  23. ^ "New ScotRail trains to ease crush on Edinburgh - Glasgow line The Scotsman (Glasgow) 22 April 2018
  24. ^ "Hitachi selected for Scottish EMU contract" International Railway Journal (London) 9 October 2014
  25. ^ "Hitachi to build ScotRail EMUs" Railway Gazette International 10 October 2014
  26. ^ "Cheaper advance fares among Abellio ScotRail plans" The Scotsman (Edinburgh) 8 October 2014
  27. ^ "Quality and more trains key to Abellio's SR franchise" Rail Magazine issue 760 29 October 2014 page 10
  28. ^ ScotRail HST fleet plans Rail Magazine 1 September 2015
  29. ^ "More Details of SR HSTs" Today's Railways issue 181 January 2017 page 67
  30. ^ "Abellio takes over ScotRail" Today's Railways issue 162 June 2015 page 12
  31. ^ ScotRail rail revolution declared as 39 carriages to be retained by ScotRail instead of going elsewhere Rail.co.uk 25 March 2016
  32. ^ Abellio ScotRail franchise agreement Transport Scotland
  33. ^ Dalton, Alastair (19 June 2018). "Cycle coaches to be hitched to trains to ease bike crush". The Scotsman. Retrieved 6 July 2018. 

External links[edit]

Media related to Abellio ScotRail at Wikimedia Commons

Preceded by
First ScotRail
ScotRail franchise
Operator of ScotRail franchise
2015 - 2025
Succeeded by